Rodda's may have been crafting clotted cream in the same way since 1890, but today's business would be unrecognisable to founder Eliza Jane Rodda. The company is now a major producer and global exporter of clotted cream with a growing reputation for other premium dairy products. Its growing complexity requires future-proofed systems and processes to enable continued growth.
Present-day Finance Director, Kurt Sigrist, began the process of sourcing a new ERP system in 2011, and recently announced the selection of Emerge IT and its Priority software after a rigorous assessment supported by consultants Wellridge Ltd.
Sigrist says: "We will soon grow out of our existing system and have already started work preparing for the new system. Uniquely, not only are Emerge able to adapt their system to the complexities of our business, but also we are able to code programming ourselves within the system. This means that we will be able to tailor the system precisely to meet our company needs."
Rodda's expects to make significant improvements in efficiency through using the new system, with the benefits felt throughout the business. Hillier Nurseries, the UK's largest tree-grower with similarly complex needs, hosted the required site visit to inspect Emerge and Priority during the selection process. Sigrist states, "Emerge were selected from a group of nine companies, as we felt that the team were very relaxed with a great confidence in their system which really shone through from the beginning."
He continues: "Two things that really made Emerge stand out from the rest during the selection process were that they never tried to hard sell to us and they never spoke about the competition. Instead, they concentrated only on the benefits that they could offer." The new system will take nearly a year to deploy.
Phil Nicholls, MD of Emerge IT says: "The Priority structure and add-on modules incorporate all the management systems that Rodda's needs, including fleet and equipment maintenance, business intelligence, safety, customer service, human resources , project management, shop floor data collection and mobile van sales. However, there is always a balance to be struck between how our system has been built, and how Rodda's want their systems to work. We will be adapting our system to their ways of working, and also training their people to be able to make adaptations themselves where it's more appropriate for them to do so."
Nicholls adds that his team thrives on complexity. "Over the years, dealing with the more challenging operation has become something of a unique selling point for us, which is why we are being selected by more and more food processing companies. We don't tend to get selected for simple, straightforward projects anymore."
Sigrist adds: "The other really important point about our selection is that Emerge shares our customer philosophy. For us, an outlet requiring a single pot of clotted cream is as important as a major supermarket chain and I know Emerge's management take on people with that same work ethic."
Nicholls concurs: "The Emerge team members will work their hearts out to keep our promises."